8 Lessons from ProMat 2015

8 Lessons from ProMat 2015

8 Lessons from ProMat 2015

Last week, Chicago welcomed over 35,000 supply chain professionals and suppliers to the McCormick Center for the combined ProMat and Automate expos. Blue Horseshoe, anchored by members of our Strategy Division, spent Monday through Thursday talking about the diverse consulting and software offerings that Blue Horseshoe implements for Supply Chain and Distribution customers. We also got the chance to see what many of our vendors are bringing to market that will benefit our customers in the coming year.

The Message

ProMat 2015 - Chicago Skyline

ProMat 2015 – Chicago Skyline

The biggest takeaway that our team got from ProMat is that consumers are looking for smarter solutions faster. Many people we talked to have an urgent need for hardware, software, and services that can be deployed to meet immediate needs. These solutions need to be able to work seamlessly with existing technologies and provide a global platform that enables cross facility and cross location collaboration.

Technologies to Watch
ProMat is a great show because it combines both material handling, technology, and supply chain consulting solutions under one roof. This year they also presented Automate, which housed many exhibitors showing off the latest in business and facility automation solutions. There were almost too many exhibits to see, but a few things really caught our attention.

ProMat was co-located with the Automate show this year. This made for a lot of crosspollination between groups and allowed the material handling companies to show off what they can do when it comes to warehouse automation. Both shows demonstrated the ability of companies to create highly automated manufacturing and warehousing facilities that greatly reduce the amount of labor required to operate.

While item level RFID is reaching a point where we can almost call it mainstream for certain products, there is still a lot of ground left to cover with the technology. Zebra Technologies had a great demonstration of how RFID is being used to track motion in the NFL, and we believe it can be used as the next generation of labor management tools.

Importance of Good Software
We were pleasantly surprised by the number of people that wanted to know about Blue Horseshoe’s software solutions. From planning and scheduling to advanced transportation management, there was a lot of interest in companies of all sizes for software that can enhance or replace aging systems. We had a great time sharing Blue Horseshoe’s selection strategy, as well as talk about many of the Microsoft and Manhattan solutions we provide.

Safety and Compliance
As a mature industry, ProMat exhibitors did a great job of demonstrating how technology can be applied to many safety and compliance related problems. From making safer forklifts, to smarter barriers, and to enhanced vehicle tracking, vendors shared refined ideas about how safety can be improved in any environment.

As at Convergence, we got to spend a lot of time sharing the work that we are doing with our partners at Honeywell with the Vocollect product. Many customers that didn’t get to see the demo at Convergence got to learn about how Blue Horseshoe is working to bring the next generation of voice into the supply cain.

Why it was great to be here
Anytime you get to be around over 35,000 people that are geeking out about the latest Supply Chain technology, we feel right at home. ProMat and Automate gave us a great opportunity to connect with new clients, visit with existing and past clients. We also had the opportunity to jump around to our partner’s booths and see what new solutions they have to share with our clients.
Good times in Booth #

And then there was this …
It was great seeing our partner Honeywell demonstrating Vocollect at their booth. Of all the technologies we are most excited about, being able to rapidly deploy voice with AX will open up many new possibilities for our clients. As with Convergence, we were able to share our deep experience with voice and demonstrate how it is something that can add value to an operation.

Next year …
We hope that you have the opportunity to visit us at MODEX in Atlanta. It is a great time to connect with colleagues and see what is new in the industry.


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